Technical skills are only one of the factors that guarantee programmers to get the job of their dreams. It turns out that soft skills of programmers are not without significance – specific character features, communicativeness and approach to group work have an impact on recruitment in the IT industry.
Invariably, the industry puts the emphasis on technical skills, which is obvious, but soft skills are what distinguishes ordinary programmers from sweepers. It is worth mentioning that for 77% of employers hard and soft skills are equally important.
Which of the soft skills should today’s programmer have in order to succeed?
Programmers spend a lot of time discussing projects, and as you know, the best ideas are born during free discussions. So the basis is to build a team in which everyone will feel comfortable and will have no resistance to sharing their ideas and experiences. What’s more, teams focused on cooperation are easier to solve problems.
Remember that effective communication means devoting as much time to listening as it does to giving yourself a discussion. Such an approach helps both in interpersonal relations and in communication via the Internet.
Effective communication also means solving problems before they escalate. Therefore, the best solution is to report errors and elements that need to be changed as soon as they are noticed.
The above rules apply to both internal communication and conversations with the client. Clear formulation of thoughts and the ability to say no when the situation requires it and when the customer’s vision differs from the functional product improves the management of the entire project process.
Patience for the team and customers
Skillfully formulating your thoughts is one thing, you should also have a lot of patience. Patience is especially helpful when programmers work with people without technical knowledge, which involves explaining processes in a non-technical way. This feature is also useful when a client asks you to add simple functionality that actually requires many hours of coding.
There are also situations when you have to start again. Despite the frustration with the sense of wasted time, don’t forget that changes are often necessary to create a functional product that will be successful.
Ability to adapt in a changing environment
The diversity of projects requires flexibility and the ability to adapt quickly to changes. It also involves the introduction of new ways of automating work. Dealing with these changes and the need to use new frameworks and libraries significantly improves the process of creating IT projects.
Projects can evolve, which involves changing the team working on a given product. This also goes hand in hand with adaptation to new requirements and group work. Sometimes reshaping teams has a positive effect on a given project, so it is worth to open to new ones. After all, it all comes down to teamwork.
Soft skills of programmers that are forgotten: honesty and openness
Telling the truth is a feature often overlooked by companies recruiting programmers. To be more precise, it is about being able to present a different point of view, especially when the changes you suggest are supported by your experience. The customer is not always right, so be honest with them, but do it in a way that will not make the situation between you.
Integrity and transparency definitely improves the atmosphere in the workplace, which greatly helps to complete the project as planned. So if you see that the work is going in the wrong direction, don’t be afraid to inform the project managers about it. Even if something went wrong on your side, be honest. Admitting a mistake is a sign of strength and you will surely gain respect among your colleagues.
Effective time management, prioritization and focus on what’s most important helps you meet your deadline. It is therefore important to monitor the time spent on product development, combined with the ability to identify achievable deadlines.
In addition to planning and prioritization, you should also report any issues that may affect the delay in the project. If it turns out that you need more time than expected to complete an item, report it immediately. Always make sure that both team members and customers have up-to-date information.
Meeting deadlines is important, but also remember to keep a balance. Effective and efficient work is not about spending 24 hours a day in front of the screen.
Ability to cope with difficult situations
You learn programming all your life, so sooner or later you will face a problem that will stop your work. That is why it is a valued feature to take the initiative and apply creative thinking to get the project off the ground. A flexible approach, curiosity and empathy are welcome, making it easier to look at the products through the eyes of the user.
You should also take responsibility for your mistakes. Again, it’s about facing the problem, analyzing what went wrong, how to fix the error and how to avoid similar situations.
Soft skills of programmers are important
As you can see, technical skills are not the only factor that determines the career development of a programmer. Without them, of course, it would be difficult to create a functional project, but focusing solely on hard skills is not conducive to the creation of an efficient team of programmers who will deliver high quality software on time.
The ideal combination is to combine technical knowledge with soft skills. Projects are rarely implemented by one person. As a programmer, you should therefore focus on working effectively as a team and practicing the competences that will bring the project to a successful end. The good news is that many of them can be acquired by working in a harmonious team.